Ex-'Idol' finalist Kellie Pickler and new beau each other's biggest fans
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/13/2007
Opposites attract, and it doesn't get much more different than American Idol fifth-season finalist Kellie Pickler's native Albermarle, NC and the hometown of her new boyfriend Jordin Tootoo, a professional hockey player from Churchill, Manitoba in Canada's Northwest Territories.
"We're from real different places, but they're both small town so we're a lot alike too," Pickler toldPeople on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Idol 5sixth-place finisher and 24-year-old right wing for the NHL's Nashville Predators began their relationship as friends in January when each purchased condos in the same Nashville complex. Tootoo asked for Pickler's phone number, according to People, and she said their first date was something familiar to him but foreign for her.
"We had a little communication problem at first," Pickler told People of Tootoo, who has Inuit Eskimo lineage. "And I had never been to a hockey game - we didn't have hockey in Albermarle. I had no idea what was going on, but I loved it anyway. It's so fast and exciting!"
By the spring, Pickler said her relationship with Tootoo had grown into a romantic one and the two became an item despite their dissimilar backgrounds.
"We're each other's biggest fans," she told People. "We let each other shine in our moments and are so proud of each other. I go to games and I'm the fan in the Predators jersey, screaming my head off. He comes to my concert with a Pickler t-shirt and he does the same."
With the 2006-2007 NHL season officially in the books, People reported Pickler plans to take a break from her current "Bonfires and Amplifiers" tour with fellow country musician Brad Paisley to spend a week with Tootoo and his family in Canada.
"I'm just so excited about seeing where he is from," Pickler told People. "It will be a totally different culture and I'm fascinated by other cultures. I have no idea what to expect. I know they do a lot of hunting and fishing and they eat what they kill. It's not like there's a Subway down the street. It's also been snowing up there, so I'm going to learn to drive a snowmobile. If it's anything like 4-wheelin', I'm set!"